What could be better than getting paid to fly?! Whether your dream is to fly corporate VIP charters, give breath-taking tours or save lives with the Air Ambulance, VVB is well suited to provide all helicopter commercial pilot training requirements to suit any career path.




Holding a Commercial Pilot Licence (H) allows you to fly as Pilot-In-Command on any single pilot helicopter that you hold a rating for, and receive payment for your duties. You are also able to act as Co-pilot in multi-pilot helicopters. After obtaining your PPL(H), your next challenge is to complete the ground school theory exams and then the 35 hour practical flying course to attain the CPL(H). Unlike for the PPL, the commercial theory exams are not taught in house but can be done with one of our recommended providers. As soon as you’ve passed your last exam, you can start the flying course.

Helicopter Career Preparation

As an established helicopter training provider, we don’t just train you to pass the CPL(H) Skills Test – we aim higher than that. We create pilots of very high standards that go on to be some of the most successful pilots across the UK.

We run ½ day sessions arranged once a month at our base at Elstree Aerodrome. This is an informal meeting with one of our instructors, who will talk you through one of the most exciting, rewarding and challenging careers a pilot can experience.

Learn about all the different options available to you, the training routes on offer, costs as well as timings to achieve the end goal of becoming a professional pilot. There are many different sectors in this market, from supporting the oil industry to corporate charter, emergency services to utility, and pleasure flying to instruction.

This is an opportunity for you to ask any questions you may have and the chance to experience a taste of the life of a pilot. To attend a career seminar, please speak to one of the team who'll be delighted to meet with you at a convenient date and time.

AS355 Twin Squirrel cockpit view over London



The minimum requirements to begin the course are:

  • Hold a PPL(H).

  • A total of 155 hours on helicopters (Including 50 hrs as PIC).

  • Hold a valid EASA Class 1 medical.

  • Completed and passed all of the CPL or ATPL theoretical knowledge examinations (see below).

Theoretical Knowledge Exams (Ground School)

Before beginning the CPL course you must have completed the theory exams. The modular ground school generally consists of a distance-learning period followed by a revision course with the training provider prior to taking the exams. You must complete all the exams within 18 months of sitting the first one.

You can either take 13 CPL(H) theory exams or 14 ATPL(H) theory exams. If you initially take the CPL(H) exams, you will be able to obtain a commercial licence but not able to add an instrument rating in the future unless you then additionally take the relevant ATPL exams. If you initially take the 14 ATPL(H) exams, these go into slightly more detail about some aircraft instruments and systems which gives you the option to do an instrument rating within 3 years without sitting any additional exams. We recommend the latter as it keeps all possible options open for you.

The course consists of theoretical knowledge instruction and self-study, followed by examinations in the following subjects:

  • Air Law

  • Navigation

  • Aircraft General Knowledge

  • Instrumentation

  • Operational Procedures

  • Flight Performance & Planning

  • Principles of Flight

  • Human Performance & Limitations

  • Meteorology

  • VFR Communications

  • IFR Communications (ATPL only)


Recommended Ground School Course Providers

Caledonian Advanced Pilot Training – www.CAPT.gs

Bristol Ground School – www.bristol.gs


Course Information

The CPL(H) Modular Flying Course consists of 35 hours of flight time. This includes 10 hours mandatory instrument flying with the other 20 hours divided between navigation and general handling. A further 5 hours is required for the night rating qualification if not already held.

The course is an intensive program structured over a minimum 5-week period. VVB Aviation is open 7 days a week, so there is a possibility of structuring part of the course over the weekends.

All flying is subject to current conditions and can take longer than expected due to the great British weather!